Now as you may or may not know I’m a bit of a fanatic for controllers, and I love trying different ones all the time to try and find a new daily driver, as I’m highly dependent on good quality products for recording smooth gameplay.
Please note: GameSir provided the review product to me free of charge. This does not influence the outcome of the review in any way.
In the box you’ll receive the G3V itself, a 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle, and a very nice faux velvet carrying pouch, along with two GameSir branded USB cables. The first is a simple microUSB charging cable for the controller, and the second a male-to-male microUSB for connecting the gamepad to a mobile device physically, but more on that later. Lastly there is a clip-on bracket for attaching your smartphone to the G3V.
Now with product reviews, particularly hardware based ones, I always want to be 100% honest about my first impressions, and in this case I was hugely surprised by the weight of the controller. It’s extremely light at just under 200g or 0.42lb, particularly by comparison to the Xeox Speedlink I currently use and other wireless options I’ve used in the past.
That said, the construction is extremely solid and the device feels very sturdy in the hand. The material is simply a smooth plastic, which while pleasant to hold does result in sweating after long periods of gameplay. I do hope that GameSir plans to release a gamepad with grippy rubber-type coating rather than bare plastic, but that’s just a personal preference.
I also love the aesthetic here - the LED backlit face buttons make the G3V look extremely classy, particularly against the dark blue finish which has a very slight glittery appearance.
The face buttons give good tactile feedback, in my mind comparable to the DualShock 3, with a perhaps slightly more audible click. The D-Pad is slightly on the mushy side, so perhaps look elsewhere if you play a lot of fighters, but for most people the very nice concave thumbsticks will more than make up for this. There is a defined ridge below the rim which gives a nice level of grip for the pads of your thumb, and I love how clicky the shoulder buttons are, along with the truly fantastic steep outwards curve of the analog triggers, which personally I think has been done better here than on any of the major retail options. Huge kudos to GameSir.
The central illuminated GameSir logo on the body of the G3V indicates the connection mode, while the four smaller LEDS at the bottom display the current battery charge level. During my testing the inbuilt 600maH battery took 2-3 hours to charge, which then gave me just over fifteen hours of use. This is slightly short of the quoted 18 hours on the Amazon product page, but be aware that I was disconnecting and reconnecting a lot more than the typical user would because of my review testing, so take my measurements with a pinch of salt. Ladies. (wink)
The G3V is nothing if not adaptable, and you can use it with a nice range of devices - using the tiny USB dongle you can connect to your PC in Xinput mode or to Sony’s Playstation 3 console. The instruction manual also says it will work with Smart TV boxes, although not owning one I was unable to confirm this.
The connection was entirely stable during my use, and I managed an approximate maximum working range of about 20 feet, which again is spot on with GameSir’s specifications.
Alternatively, you can pair the gamepad via Bluetooth 4.0 to iOS or Android smartphones and tablets. Here’s where the handy bracket comes in. You simply unscrew one side of the clip, snap it into place and raise the holder. Then screw the side back on, drop the platform and clamp your smartphone into place. From here you can use the controller to navigate the OS if that’s your bag, or indeed play games! Of course using Bluetooth will increase your battery consumption slightly, but you can use the included male-to-male microUSB lead to connect directly and save yourself some gameplay time
Take a look at this setup compared to something like the Nvidia Shield Portable (above), and this might illustrate the concept a little better. While I love the Shield and it’s my go-to piece of portable gaming hardware, it’s heavy and they’re hard to find. What GameSir offers here is a lightweight and much more affordable means of achieving the same thing. They’re certainly not the only company doing it, but I expect we’ll continue to see many more products like these.
And on a personal level, a huge part of dealing with a company is their customer support, and while I haven’t had any issues or failures with the product, when GameSir reached out to me to discuss the product they were extremely helpful and gave me all the contact I needed during the process. They were perfectly happy in my case to work around my exams, and while I know this experience is not relevant to the average consumer, I can at least say that I personally would have absolutely no qualms about using them again, and I’m quite confident that I will.
To be candid, I’m as guilty of anyone of having this preconceived notion that little-known companies from the Far East rarely produce high quality products, but the G3S and GameSir themselves have changed my mind. To the good people at GameSir I apologise for that, and to you the consumer, I encourage you to go into these purchases with an open mind if you thought the same way as me.
High quality construction, excellent presentation and a wide range of features, along with excellent customer relations all culminate in a firm nod of recommendation from me.